Biology

DNA Fingerprinting in Molecular Biology

Jeffreys began at the simplest, by detecting single copies of the genes and the phenomena of introns. It was this research that introduced the genuine concepts of restriction fragment length polymorphism or RFLP. (Newton, 2004, np) By this technique, it was possible to divide the DNA into smaller pieces, which in turn led to the discovery of SNP or single nucleotide polymorphism. The SNP became a designation for points in DNA that show variation in the nucleotide arrangement, which prevents their cutting. These two discoveries were going to affect the entire future of genetic technologies. (Newton, 2004, np)
The discovery of the DNA printing made it an exclusive fact that humans differ substantially from other life forms, a notion he had pride on for many millennia. Now DNA fingerprinting is a common household concept, as people know that in order to identify someone, a small trace of him or her is required in the form of hair, fingerprint, semen, saliva, etc. Jeffreys studied the variations in the human DNA and focused on those variations that would come up in repeat DNA sequences. This research led him to conclude that no two DNA strands can be the same, and act as genetic "fingerprints" to the person. (Sir Alex Jeffreys, 2007, np) The finding again was augmented by data derived from experiments on seal myoglobin genes, where the phenomena of mini-satellites in the human genome were discovered. This was a major breakthrough at the start of the research of genetic fingerprinting. (Sir Alex Jeffreys, 2007, np) Mini or microsatellites are located on the non-coding DNA, and it is this DNA that accumulates random variations at a faster pace than the coding DNA. Many of these non-coding DNA genes are gene regulators, but a significant amount does not contain any information at all. These "junk DNA" are essentially the phenomenon which is known as the micro-satellites. The micro-satellites contain short and repetitive DNA sequences within the sequence. Usually their location is easily predicted, however, this sequence repetition is variable in every individual. (Olson, 2006, np) It is the micro-satellites that are cut when DNA fragmentation results, which lead to various lengths of band formation or RFLPs.
The main concept behind this individuality of space within itself is the arrangement of base pairs in the DNA. This arrangement difference is what differentiates species and animals and plants, as well as persons from each other. Therefore, every DNA sequence is unique. The DNA sequence in one organism will be the same in all of its cells, whether unicellular or multi-cellular. The number of base pairs is different in every species, along with its configuration, which differentiates the various species from each other. (Antler, 2003, para 1)
DNA fingerprinting is now being used in many fields of common life and advanced genetic researches. One of the most interesting areas is the diagnosis of inherited disease within an individual. It is now a known fact that humans inherit many illness genes, which are contributory in the progression of the disease. Ethical issues aside, in prenatal and newborn infants, this technology can be used to identify any inherited disorders that they may be carrying, and institute treatment should the need arise.&nbsp.

Back To Top